We at International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) fully agree that much more humanitarian assistance is needed to address the immense suffering of the Syrian population. However, Megan Scully and Jonathan Broder provide a distorted view of our action in the country when stating that much of our assistance “has gone to Assad’s supporters” (Military Contingency Planning Under Way for Syria Intervention, March 19).
In Syria as everywhere else, the ICRC abides by its fundamental principles, including that of impartiality and delivers aid based on needs only. Through over 100 field sorties last year, including many across front lines, the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have assisted more than 1.5 million Syrians with food and non-food and provided clean water for more than 10 million people, regardless of their religious, ethnic or political affiliations. We are keenly aware of the challenges to impartial humanitarian action in Syria, but, in accordance to our mandate and principles, we continue to push, day after day, for greater access to all victims, including those who live in opposition-held areas.
Simon Schorno, spokesman, International Committee of the Red Cross, Washington
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.